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Sudan Destroys 300,000 Illegal Firearms

Sudan Destroys 300,000 Illegal Firearms

Wednesday, 30 September, 2020 - 09:45
Sudanese police stand guard in central Khartoum, in this file photo. (AFP)

The Sudanese government destroyed over 300,000 illegal weapons that were handed over voluntarily over three phases as part of the National Project for Collecting Firearms, announcing the launch of the fourth phase.

At a ceremony held in Hajar al-Asal area in northern Sudan, thousands of the firearms collected over the past three years were destroyed in a controlled explosion by the army.

The operation was carried out in the presence of defense and interior ministers, a member of the Sovereign Council, and a number of ambassadors as well as representatives of international and regional organizations.

Speaking at the ceremony, member of the Sovereign Council Ibrahim Jabir, announced that the destruction of these unlicensed arms marks the end of the first three phases of the collection project.

He also declared that during the fourth stage, the government will conduct forced collection of arms and implement strict measures to prevent the possession of illegal weapons.

Ibrahim urged the international community to provide Sudan with the needed technical support and modern devices to implement the operation and prevent weapon trafficking across borders.

He noted that Sudan is a big country surrounded by many neighboring states whose coordination is required in this campaign.

Jaber directed the joint forces to continue with this mission to protect civilians, pointing out that the proliferation of illegal arms ignited tribal wars in some areas recently.

For his part, Major General Abdulhadi Abdallah, the rapporteur of the Higher Committee for Weapon Collection, said that 300,000 weapons of various types from areas of conflict were collected in this campaign.

The weapons were sent to the General Command in Khartoum, adding that the first three phases had cost the Sudanese government $40 million, calling upon the international community to help finance the next stage.

Abdallah confirmed that the final phase of the program will include search operations in places that could contain illegal firearms. He explained that the forces carrying out the mission have been trained and are equipped with modern devices to detect weapons even if they are buried underground.

During the past ten years, Sudan witnessed wars and armed conflicts between the central government and rebel groups in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile regions, which led to the spread of all kinds of heavy and light weapons among citizens.

Weapon collection operations began in 2016 during the rule of the former regime, and continued after the April 2019 revolution.

Last August, the Sudanese government signed a peace agreement with a number of armed movements, which included security arrangements to integrate fighters into the Sudanese army, through technical operations carried out by the “Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration” commission, with the UN support.

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